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Poster: billymays55 Date: Apr 24, 2012 8:43pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

So your saying if I purchase a piece of property and I have the deed to the property then I die and I don't leave it to anybody (therefore abandoned/orphaned). A successor-in-interest (let's say an immediate family member who lived in my house at one time but had nothing to do with owning it or is not left to them) can just move in and claim they own it after I die?

Using that logic who's to say to that original owner who sold me the property can now come back and claim it?

That's why they have the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) who would turn the abandoned/orphaned property into public land for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

I don't see the logic in this at all.

So it seems logical that the film should fall into the public domain right?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Apr 25, 2012 2:09am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Woman of Straw (1964)

Real estate and chattel (ie physical property other than real estate) is generally passed along based on statutory and common law principles of inheritance. If you own property and die intestate your property will go to your immediate next-of-kin, no matter how distantly related they are. It is only if you die intestate and have no immeadiate kin, no successors-in-interest, or others with a claim on your property (creditors, etc.), that your property may become state property.

Intellectual property has different principles of transfer. If the principal author of a "work" dies before the renewal or extension terms commence, the successors-in-interest are alowed to claim the copyright for the remaining term(s). With works-for-hire, if a company owning a copyright is taken over by another company or sells its rights, there is no reason why the new parent company cannot claim the copyright as a successor-in-interest (refereed to as a "PWH" in the USCO catalogue [Person/Party With History]) to the original company. There is currently no mechanism for an abandoned copyright to be rendered to the public domain.

Most films are not in the public domain due to abandonment. Take any of the major studios and their films that are PD, it is usually because of some clerical errors rather than concious abandment or release to the public domain.

This post was modified by Video-Cellar on 2012-04-25 09:09:34